Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan said two-third of the recommendations by the city’s Safety Advisory Commission has been implemented since January 2020.
“Progress is being made in the review of all the remaining – except for six, that fall outside of Chief Quinlan’s purview,” Chief Tom Quinlan said at a progress report briefing with the Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.
“I am committed to change to make the Division the very best it can be, going beyond what the Commission recommended.”
Also, Mayor Ginther said “There is no greater priority than combating racism in every corner of our community, including within the Division of Police, and stopping police violence against people of color in Columbus. It is long past time.”
“This progress report does not represent the end of our work, but only the beginning.”
Completed recommendations include:
- Independent investigations of internal and external discrimination complaints
- Creation of community affairs/relations bureau and youth services unit
- Expanded access to language services
Recommendations in progress include:
- Cultural competency training
- Juvenile justice training and de-escalation with youth
- Continued Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), including for dispatchers
- Overhaul of Employee Action Review System of officers
- Continuation of Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission to assure recommendations are completed.
Mayor Ginther also stated that a civilian review board of some type would be the top priority in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police.
Per the Commission’s recommendation, he announced the formation of a work group by July 1 to develop a model for the civilian review board, with the goal of having the review board established by end of 2020.
In addition, the Mayor said he will request a third-party investigation into all incidents of fatal use of force and other use of force complaints and violations of Division policy that demand independent review.
This recommendation will require engaging the state and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Mayor Ginther also noted that the City is evaluating the use-of-force continuum, especially as it relates to the use of spray agents to disperse crowd.
This recommendation was made by Matrix, an independent third-party firm that evaluated the Columbus Division of Police.
“For every change we will make, there will be a call for more,” said Mayor Ginther.
“But, if we start with what we know is true and right, and we continue the hard work to implement the Commission’s recommendations, we will make our community a safer place to live for all of our residents.”